According to a new report by the International Geothermal Association (IGA), Africa is set to overtake Europe in geothermal capacity in the next few years.
The report, which was released recently found that Africa has the potential to generate up to 15,000 MW of geothermal electricity, more than any other continent except Asia. The report also found that Africa has made significant progress in developing its geothermal resources in recent years, with the total installed capacity increasing from 230 MW in 2010 to 600 MW in 2022.
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The IGA report attributes Africa’s growing geothermal capacity to a number of factors, including the continent’s abundant geothermal resources, its strong government support for geothermal development, and the increasing availability of financing for geothermal projects.
The report’s findings are supported by other recent developments in the African geothermal sector. For example, in 2022, the African Union launched the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF), a $100 million fund designed to reduce the financial risk of geothermal projects in Africa. The GRMF is expected to help finance the development of up to 1,000 MW of geothermal capacity in Africa over the next five years.
In addition, a number of major geothermal projects are currently underway in Africa. For example, in 2022, Kenya commissioned the Olkaria I Unit 6 geothermal power plant, which added 83 MW of geothermal capacity to the country’s grid. Kenya is now the leading producer of geothermal electricity in Africa, with an installed capacity of over 900 MW.
Other African countries with significant geothermal potential include Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda. All of these countries are currently developing geothermal projects, and their total installed geothermal capacity is expected to exceed 1,000 MW by 2025.
The growth of geothermal energy in Africa is expected to have a number of benefits for the continent. Geothermal energy is a clean and renewable source of energy, and it can help to reduce Africa’s reliance on fossil fuels. Geothermal energy can also create jobs and boost economic growth in Africa.